Jerome Betts: Stiff Upper Lip

When uncle slipped, near roadside tippings,
As light snow hid the ice beneath,
And fell face down in sharp-edged chippings,
Did foul words further blast the heath?
Ah no, despite the pain’s cruel nippings
He just said ‘Ouch!’, through gritted teeth.

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Robin Helweg-Larsen: Modern Cars

Dealing with the modern automobile
is like a farrier fixing a steering wheel.
Forget your happy thrills
with metal tools, familiar skills.
This is no horse and carriage.
Just take it to a garage.

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Michael Sutton: The Russians

I found particular benefit from your thoughts
On the importance of The Russians
Not those Russians
We don't talk about those Russians
But those Russians
Especially Dostoevsky

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Peter Emery: Not Summoned By Bells

Intolerably loud the sound!
St Giles's bells are ringing round
to call to church the faithful few.

The rest of us, like me and you,
incline to curse their Sunday din
preventing us from sleeping in.

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Tony Peyser: 21st Century Melancholy

At your mailbox, you’re
Disappointed that the
Book you decided to get
From Amazon–but no
Longer want to read–
Still hasn’t arrived yet.

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Thomas Tyrrell: Vathek II

Conspicuously eating my orange polenta cake
at the workshop, I decide
that if I were an Eastern tyrant
I would have my every meal
watched by starving poets.

It intensifies the flavour.

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Paul Willis: Marsh Marigold

(Caltha leptosepala)

Marsh marigold, each spring
I see you in the wet
among the snow banks.

Never old.
             Just merry
                           and gold.

(Note.This is one of the pieces in Paul Willis's new collection. See News)

Three marsh marigolds